Category Archives: Plant of the Month

Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Trumpets – Ipomopsis longiflora

Plant Form: Flower Plant Type: Annual Sunlight: Sun Plant Size: 18″ x 12″ Water Usage: Low Colors: Blue, White Physical Description:  Pale blue to almost white, long trumpet-like flowers on intricately branching stems and finely dissected foliage. Care and Maintenance:  Avoid overwatering/poor drainage.  Gardener’s notes:  Loves hot, dry, deep sandy soil. Occasional summer supplemental water will prolong blooming into fall. Found in sandy areas of El Paso. Grow from collected seed. Southwest Plant of the Month material courtesy of NMSU ACES – http://desertblooms.nmsu.edu/plantadvisor/

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Hill Country Penstemon – Penstemon triflorus

General Information Plant Form Flower Plant Size 2′ x 1′ Plant Type Perennial Water Usage Low Sunlight Sun, Partial Shade Colors Red Physical Description:  Small bushy stature with multiple, short flowering stems just rising over the compact mass of dark green leaves, carrying a number of slightly fuzzy cherry-red, 2′ long flowers. Care and Maintenance:  Remove spent stems to maintain compact bushy appearance.  Needs well draining soil.  Gardener’s notes:  This central Texas native is well adapted to El Paso’s dry limestone soils. Another eastern Texas species, P. tenuis, requires…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Star – Amsonia spp.

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size : 2′ x 1′ Plant Type : Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: Blue, White Physical Description:  Mounds of willowy leaves and wiry stems topped  by star-shaped, white to light blue flowers in spring.  Can spread by root stolons. Care and Maintenance:  Avoid overwatering. Dies back to hardy roots in  winter. Difficult to locate seed or plant source. Gardener’s notes:  Several attractive native species,  including A. longiflora, A. palmeri, A. ciliata and sand-loving A. arenaria. Southwest Plant…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Ranger – Leucophyllum zygophyllum

Plant Form:  Shrub Plant Type:  Evergreen Sunlight:  Sun Plant Size:  3′ x 3′ Water Usage:  Low Colors:  Blue, Purple Physical Description:  Small evergreen shrub with rounded, compact form. Young branches are erect and silvery, drooping and turning grayish-tan with age, and the small, soft wooly leaves are also silvery gray-green which contrasts well with the 1/2″ long bell-shaped, purplish to pale lavender-blue flowers that follow summer  and fall rains. Care and Maintenance:  Occasional pruning out of older branches helps invigorate a mature plant.  Avoid overwatering/poor…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Flax – Linum lewisii

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 2′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, partial shade Colors: Purple Physical Description: Dainty, 1″, sky-blue, cup-shaped flowers on multitude of long, wand-like stems, lined with small, linear leaves. Care and Maintenance: Short lived but reseeds well. Fragile petals drop when flowers are picked or disturbed. Gardener’s notes: Flowers last only one day but are quickly replaced by many waiting buds, spring into summer. El Paso native easily grown from seed. L. perenne is a nearly…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blue Mist Flower – Conoclinium greggii (Eupatorium greggii)

Plant Form:  Flower Plant Type:  Perennial Sunlight:  Sun, Partial Shade Plant Size:  2′ x 3′ Water Usage:  Low Colors:  Blue, Purple Physical Description:  Fuzzy blue-lavender masses of flowers on short stems above a thick green ground covering foliage. Spreads by underground rhizomes. Care and Maintenance:  Needs limited but regular water to avoid sparse foliage and to maintain blooming, especially in full sun. Potentially invasive if over watered. Gardener’s notes:  Accepts part shade and a variety of soils. Rhizominous roots can be divided for transplants in spring. Native from west…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blackfoot daisy

Blackfoot daisy: Melampodium leucanthum Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 1′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: White Physical Description: Perky white, daisy-like flowers on a tidy, compact mass of dark green, linear leaves. 3/4″ Flowers may obscure foliage. Care and Maintenance: Overwatering. Must have good drainage to avoid root rot. Gardener’s notes: Long blooming, April to October, with occasional irrigation. Heat loving. Native to El Paso. Grow seed in place as deep taproot makes transplanting difficult. Southwest Plant of the…

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Southwest Plant of the Month – Blackbrush Acacia

Plant Form: Tree Plant Size: 18′ x 10′ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Flower Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large, 2-3″, fragrant, pale yellow to golden flowers in spring. Dark colored bark on rigid, thorny branches. Care and Maintenance: Needs training when young if single trunk habit is desired. Thorns. Slow growing. Freeze damage possible in very cold winters. Gardener’s notes: Large shrub or small tree. Dark bark and rich green foliage provides attractive contrast in the landscape. Native to eastern…

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Southwest Plant of the Month

Black locust – Robinia pseudoacacia Plant Form: Tree Plant Size: 50′ x 25′ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: White Physical Description: Tree has an open sparse branching habit. Bark is deeply furrowed. Showy display of creamy-white fragrant flowers in the spring. Care and Maintenance: Weedy, thicket-forming if not controlled. Thorns. Root suckering can become a nuisance. Gardener’s notes: The wood is hard and dense. Often used as posts because wood is rot-resistant and strong. Once widely planted for shelter belts, and…

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Southwest Plant of the Month

Black dalea – Dalea frutescens Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3’ x 5’ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Purple Physical Description: Low round, mounding shrub with small green, compound leaves, densely covering spreading, pale creamy branches. Numerous purple pea-like flowers obscure foliage, late summer/ fall. Care and Maintenance: Occasional pruning may be needed to keep plant compact and foliage dense. Rabbits and deer graze young plants. Gardener’s Notes: Native to Chihuahuan desert of Texas/ New Mexico. Good accent or ground cover.…

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